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NC House approves changes recommended for SBI lab

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Operational and oversight changes at North Carolina's crime laboratory recommended by a task force have been approved unanimously by the state lawmakers.

The House voted 118-0 Tuesday in favor of a proposal created following negative publicity for the State Bureau of Investigation lab and an outside report that raised questions about work by the lab during a 16-year period ending in 2003. The bill now goes to the Senate.

The measure would create a standing advisory panel of scientists to regularly review lab procedures and would change the lab's formal name and purpose to make clear it doesn't work solely for the prosecution. Anyone who willfully withholds any lab tests from attorneys in a case also would be guilty of obstruction of justice.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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